Ethiopian Airlines became the third African carrier to join the Star Alliance network this week, growing the alliance to 28 carriers. Of those 28, 16 provide service to Africa, covering 110 airports in 48 countries. The move also integrates Ethiopian into the fare and award products, though some integration on fare products won’t occur until January 2012.
The move also integrates the carrier into frequent flier earning across the alliance. Thus far I’ve seen earing details for Asiana, Continental, United Airlines, Turkish, TAP Air Portugal, Air Canada, Lufthansa‘s Miles & More and Agean Airlines. Those earning rates have been incorporated into the calculators on the Travel Tools site. Generally speaking most of the carriers are providing 100% earning rates for all economy fares and a bonus for business class fares. Full details about the rates can be found on the Travel Tools Update here.
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This certainly goes a long way to flesh out Star’s East African presence.
It is huge for connectivity in Africa for the alliance. SkyTeam was rather dominant in the center of the continent with KQ; this levels the playing field a bit.
Although I liked the seat itself (horizontal flat), KQ’s product was definitely showing its age when I flew BKK-NBO. I understand that ET’s product is angled-flat, but look forward to trying it on JNB-ACC-FCO-IAD. The 77L interiors look pretty sharp from the photos I’ve seen. Am also looking forward to enjoying Ethiopian food on a flight (although it seems like it would be a somewhat messy cuisine for in-flight enjoyment).
ADD, not ACC, I should add.
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